I cannot agree more about New York Time article: Be kinder to yourself in 2020. I think everyone deserves it. We usually push ourselves to the limit day in and day out, especially at the beginning of the New Year. We need to accept ourselves and try to be kinder to ourselves in 2020. The following is an abbreviated article.
1. Take more time for yourself
Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.
2. Take time to do nothing at all
Running from place to place and labouring over long to-do lists have increasingly become ways to communicate status: I’m so busy because I’m just so important, the thinking goes.
Perhaps it’s time to stop all this busyness. Being busy — if we even are busy — is rarely the status indicator we’ve come to believe it is. Nonetheless, the impact is real, and instances of burnout, anxiety disorders and stress-related diseases.
3. Cultivate more casual, low-stakes friendships
The more weak ties a person has (neighbors, a barista at the neighborhood coffee shop or fellow members in a spin class), the happier they feel. Maintaining this network of acquaintances also contributes to one’s sense of belonging to a community.
4. Learn to enjoy things when they’re good
Worrying about when “the other shoe will drop” will only steal your current joy.
In a paper examining the costs and benefits of negative expectations in the journal Emotion, researchers found that students who predicted getting a poor grade on an exam felt bad for days before receiving their results. Worse, their stressing didn’tdiminish the disappointment they felt once they got their scores.
One underlying reason people worry is that on some level they assume it helps. Yet we need to accept that we can’t perfectly prepare for potential challenges.
“There are an infinite number of bad things that could possibly happen (although most are unlikely), and there is just no way a person can anticipate them all,” according to Dr. Michel Dugas, a psychology professor at the University of Quebec.
Keep in mind that research has shown we are notoriously bad at predicting how we will feel in a given situation, and things often go better than we imagine they will in moments of fear. Dr. Dugas shared a takeaway a client observed: “I try to worry about everything bad that could possibly happen so that I won’t be taken off guard. What really bothers me is that although I do sometimes experience bad things, they are never the ones I thought about!”
5. Lean into your ‘guilty’ pleasures
Taking a mental break and enjoying something that doesn’t require intense intellectual focus gets us out of problem-solving mode, and it can also improve our ability to productively deal with stressors and help us engage more positively with other people.
6. Learn to accept a compliment – even if it’s from yourself
the psychological impact of keeping a positive view of your accomplishments can decrease stress and encourage better habits.
And even if you’re bad at taking a compliment, or you’re not getting external recognition, you can still enjoy major psychological benefits from celebrating your achievements on your own, according to experts.
7. Embrace the unexpected joy of repeat experiences
“When an experience has many layers of information to unveil, it’s probably a good bet to repeat it,”
8. Turn your regrets into self-improvement
Many of us try to push pain away. Others ruminate about perceived mistakes. But whether you ignore or fixate on what’s troubling you, research has shown that it’s impossible to run from emotions without consequences. And in a vicious twist, dodging upsetting feelings actually makes them even more present: Suppressing our emotions can diminish our capacity for joy and potentially manifest as physical pain.
So instead of trying to ignore your regrets, it’s a better idea to practice acknowledging the experience. Try this: Start by slowing down and noticing your thoughts and sensations. Relax your face and hands, and think about accepting how you feel now without worrying you’ll feel this way forever. Reaching this middle ground between avoiding and dwelling will prove less depressing.
Researchers also found that when people find a silver lining in their regret, they are able to think more clearly.
“Regret can be a problem, but one benefit of regret is that it signals improvement is possible,” said Neal Roese, a professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University who focuses on the psychology of judgment and decision-making. “The trick is to avoid obsessing and pull out a lesson that can be applied in future situations.”